08/5/16

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Drops Lawsuit But Still Pushes For Casino

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is dropping a short-lived lawsuit that challenged the bidding process for a new casino in Connecticut. But Chief Richard Velky hasn’t given up hope. He said the tribe will focus its efforts on the 2017 legislative session, when lawmakers will consider whether to move forward with the casino.

Continue Reading: http://www.indianz.com/IndianGaming/2016/08/05/schaghticoke-tribal-nation-dro.asp

07/13/16

WSHU: Schaghticoke Continues Fight For Federal Recognition — And Its Benefits

“Connecticut has announced its new Keno game, introduced in April, brought in $12 million in its first two months. That’s nearly twice what the state had projected.

Part of the proceeds are going to the state’s two federally recognized American Indian tribes, the Mashantucket and the Mohegan. But there are three other state-recognized Indian tribes in Connecticut. They are not getting any of the proceeds because only the two federally recognized tribes have a gaming compact with the state”

WSHU Senior Political Reporter Ebong Udoma and Reporter Davis Dunavin have been covering this development and spoke about it with Morning Edition Host Tom Kuser.

Listen to full interview here: http://wshu.org/post/schaghticoke-continues-fight-federal-recognition-and-its-benefits

 

03/8/16

Chief Of Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Testifies At Public Safety Committee Public Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chief Richard Velky
March 8, 2016

Email: chiefvelkystn@aol.com

CHIEF OF SCHAGHTICOKE TRIBAL NATION TESTIFIES AT
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE PUBLIC HEARING
Urges Legislators to Amend SB 357 to Allow All State Recognized Tribes the
Opportunity to Conduct Tribal Bingo Operations

Kent, Connecticut — Today, the Chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN), Richard Velky, testified before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, urging legislators to amend Senate Bill 357 (An Act Concerning Gaming). During his testimony, Chief Velky asked the committee to “keep focused” on the bill’s stated purpose, which is to amend and correct the State’s bingo laws.

“…the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is a Connecticut recognized tribe, just like the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe. And as many of you know, we have been pursuing an opportunity to create our own gaming entity,” Velky remarked. “We therefore ask the Committee to amend S.B. 357 to give the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation…and all state-recognized tribes…an opportunity to conduct tribal bingo operations…and ensure STN is given equal consideration for any future commercial casino in Connecticut.”

“To us, tribal gaming is about creating an economic opportunity for an impoverished people and if we were permitted to pursue gaming, we would use that opportunity to create jobs for us and for the surrounding communities,” added Velky.

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is one of the oldest state-recognized tribes in the U.S., formally recognized by the Colony of Connecticut in 1736.

Read Chief Velky’s full testimony here.

04/29/14

Editorial: Connecticut tribes deserve to be respected in state

From Indianz.com –

Connecticut newspaper says tribes deserve respect even if they are not recognized by the federal government:

The proposed rules were “significantly” changed, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy told a group of business leaders in Danbury Wednesday, and now are expected to effectively block attempts by the Schaghticokes in Kent to win federal recognition.
The revisions, announced by the BIA last Thursday, specify that for any petition to move forward it would need consent by all parties who were involved in earlier unsuccessful attempts.

Given that Connecticut, the state’s attorney general and the town of Kent all vigorously objected to federal recognition for the Schaghticokes — a designation approved in 2004 and then overturned in 2008 — any new effort would go nowhere.

Good news for the state. Not such good news for the Native Americans, who obtained their reservation by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut in 1736. The original 2,500-acre reservation, one of the oldest in the country, was pared down in the 1800s and early 1900s to the present day steep, rocky 400 acres in Kent…

Get the Story:
Editorial: Still struggling with the Native American identity (The Danbury News-Times 5/29)

 

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04/25/14

Federal Recognition Proposal Praised — Except for CT's 'Third Party' Veto

By Gale Courey Toensing

Indian country has welcomed a set of proposed regulations to reform the federal recognition process, but a provision that would hand third parties veto power to quash a tribe’s request for reconsideration of its petition is raising an outcry that political influence from Connecticut politicians is once again tainting the process.

Interior’s Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs (ASIA) Kevin Washburn announced the publication of the proposed regulations Thursday (April 22). The proposal follows up on draft regulations issued last June that were widely applauded in Indian country as the best thing to happen in decades to a system that’s been described as “broken, long, expensive, burdensome, intrusive, unfair, arbitrary and capricious, less than transparent, unpredictable, and subject to undue political influence and manipulation.” . . .

. . . “By allowing the third party consent to decide the fate of the tribes, the third parties are no longer participants, but they’ve now become the judge,” STN Chief Richard Velky said. “I know ASIA Kevin Washburn is trying to do good for Indian country. I believe the BIA needs to make some changes, but this isn’t change we can believe in. This is political influence – corruption – by the state of Connecticut that went into the White House and got third party veto power over a tribe’s right to ask for reconsideration based on the merits of its petition under the revised regulations.” . . .

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/05/25/federal-recognition-proposal-praised-except-cts-third-party-veto-155024

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